What's in your Medical Kit?

Posted by: Brumfield

What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/14/08 06:54 PM

What's in your Medical Kit?

A while back, I posted a Medical Kit list taken from a 1916 hiker's article. It received a lot of comments and opened up some interesting discussions and further input. I was freshening up my Medical Kit this week while getting ready for a trip to Michoacan, and got to wondering... what does everybody else carry in their current medical Kit, that is, if you even carry one.

If you want to post a detailed list here, I would love to see it, in order to compare against mine.

Consider listing the name of the items, quantity or ounces, their intended use or purpose, and add any special use you've made of an item, or mention a time of dire straights that you were really glad you had a particular item with you.

Bourbon, Scotch, bottles of wine hidden (unbeknownst to them) in your hiking partner's pack, or a Good Tequila, may be considered the norm in medicinal improvisations for pain and sleep medications.. Any other special or additional notes of interest will add to our enjoyment of your posting. I'll post mine here too... later. Upgrading your Medical Kit prior to posting here is not only allowed, but is advised, as some of these guys will really razz you if your kit is not up to their acceptable standards. The lists posted here will help in upgrading our own Medical Kit check lists.

PS: We'll do kitchen cook kits, repair kits, sleeping gear, etc later if this goes over well. If this has already been done (recently) just slap me. I'm new here (8 weeks) and have not read all of the posts... yet. Brum

PS: Note: This is not an Ultra Light posting, so, don't lie to look good on here! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: midnightsun03

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/14/08 07:08 PM

It has been about 18 months since this was last discussed thoroughly, so a good time to revisit with all the newbies in our midst.

For reference, here's a link to the last go-round of this topic: Backcountry first Aid.

MNS
Posted by: BarryP

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/15/08 11:13 AM

I get these small hard first aid kits from our Fire Dept. Or you can buy them for $3.50. I like the protective box:
Scroll down to Item FA-112 http://www.cpr-savers.com/consumer/cons1.html

When I use an item, I resupply it.
“First Aid Kit Includes:
(2) Extra-strength non-aspirin tablets
(2) Ibuprofen tablets
(1) First aid guide
(6) 3/4"x3" Curad® adhesive plastic bandages
(10) 3/8"x1-1/2" Curad® junior plastic bandages
(1) 1-1/2"x1-1/2" Curad® patch plastic bandage
(1) Large butterfly wound closure
(3) Alcohol cleansing pads
(3) Antiseptic cleansing wipes (sting free)
(1) Antibiotic ointment pack
(2) Aspirin tablets

First Aid Kit Dimensions: 4-3/4"x3-3/4"x1/2"


How do I resupply the Ibuprofen tablets? I like how they originally come prepackaged. This keeps out moisture. Well I bought a box of prepackaged Ibuprofen’s at a grocery store.

Ironically my little kit gets more use during group bike trips than backpacking trips.

-Barry
Posted by: hootyhoo

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/15/08 04:23 PM

I just recently started on my first aid kit. I have been studying all the commercial kits and cooking up my own version. I had extensive first aid training years ago, but my old foggy mind has trouble remembering. Hopefully if I ever need to help myself or some one else it will all come back to me -

lets see -- was it tilt the head back and then check for obstructions, or....
maybe it was check for obstructions, then tilt the head back....oh yeah and pinch the nose closed before blowing....oh wait I should have started the CPR compressions first...okay lets start over.....
(meanwhile victim turns blue)

I did add one thing this year - I can't get iodine anymore thanks to the meth labs, so I put betadine in a 1 ounce visine bottle. This can be used to irrigate and/or could be applied to gauze -- it would be nice to be able to carry more, but I settled on 1 oz.
Posted by: Pika

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/15/08 06:28 PM

This is what I take. It all fits in a 4" x 6" silicon nylon pouch
1 -- Small first aid booklet
2 – Extra large band aids
4 – 1” band aids
4 – 2” x 2” gauze pads
1 -- 6" x 6" gauze pad
2 -- antiseptic wipes in foil pkg.
6-- adhesive butterfly bandages
1 - splinter needle
2 – scalpel blades in foil pkg.
4 – safety pins; 2 small, 2 medium
8 -- Calcium carbonate antacid tablets
8 – Acetaminophen tablets; dose = 2
8 – Benadryl tablets; dose = 1-2
12 – Ibuprofen tablets; dose = 1-4
12 -- Amoxycillin tablets
9 – Aspirin tablets; dose = 1-3
6 - Imitrex (100 mg, migraine medication), dose = 1 then another if headache persists.
8 - Vicodin (5-500 mg, pain killer), dose = 1 every four hours for pain.

Weight of the foregoing is about 3 oz. Tablets are carried in 1.5" x 1.5" ziploc bags. I also carry tweezers, duct tape, bandanna, salt, antibiotic ointment, 2 oz of rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer and a 2 oz prescription bottle containing more ibuprofen and antacids (my working supply) in other parts of my pack. On longer trips, I include more Imitrex, ibuprofen and antacids in resupply. The antacids also serve as a calcium supplement. I also take a multi-vitamin every day.
Posted by: Tango61

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/15/08 06:57 PM


Pika,
I don't want this to sound like a really dumb question, but what are the scalpel blades for?
Obviously for cutting, but just what exactly? And, how do you control them without the handle? If I have a penknife with a razor sharp blade, would that be equivalent?

Now a comment on the tweezers. I have a pair that has a small magnifying glass incorporated. Works great for those pesky little stickers!
Posted by: Tango61

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/15/08 07:14 PM


HootyHoo - you crack me up! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

This past month I've been helping my wife (RN) certify a group of our Scouts and adult leaders in CPR/AED/First Aid. She is certified to teach these courses through the American Heart Association.

I teach the First Aid requirements for the various Scout ranks as well as the First Aid merit badge for our troop.

After seeing and teaching both of the materials (BSA and AHA), I can truly say that the First Aid merit badge material is quite thorough. Probably not up to the level of NOLS training but more than adequate for most backpackers.

So, if you have access to a Scout store or can order on-line I would highly recommend the BSA First Aid merit badge booklet.

Now for your predicament (victim turning blue <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> ), just remember A,B,C,D:

A - Airway
B - Breathing
C - Circulation (blood - cpr, bleeding - internal, external)
D - Deadly poison (internal, external)

Tango
Posted by: midnightsun03

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/15/08 07:56 PM

One of the things I've really come to appreciate in my job, is that the very fist thing you do in first aid - situation size up - can tell you a great deal about what you will need to do as you progress through your treatment. A big part of my job is to watch people who walk into our ER and make a judgement call - is this person likely to die if I don't get them into a bed right now, or can they take the time to fill out our paperwork, and possibly wait 10 minutes to 2 hours without being at risk of getting worse. Although my impression isn't the "official" pronouncement, I've gotten so good at telling sick or not sick that the nurses I work with trust my judgement - when I say "I need a nurse, now!" they know I have someone who needs immediate care (you'd be surprised how many near-death people actually walk into the ER).

Anyway, my point being that it is good to practice first aid skills, but it is essential to practice first aid situational awareness (there's that phrase again!). When you stumble on someone who is injured or sick, your own reaction may keep you from noticing important clues to the needs or your patient, or perhaps the cause of their injuries (like the bear that knocked them down then ran off with their pack, and is just in the bushes 20 feet away). So, practice your skills, but practice using real scenarios that make you have to take the time to assess your situation. You have to break the urge to rush in and treat before you know what is going on. The "hey, hey, you ok?" shouted from a distance can tell you alot. If you don't get a reaction then you know you need to check your ABCs. And truthfully, if you have to check your ABCs in the middle of the wilderness, and you didn't witness the cause of unconsciousness, chances are really good your patient is dead or dying. Practice the "don't rush in" principle - take the time to get oriented and calm your own nerves. An extra couple of minutes doing this isn't going to make a big difference in the wilderness.

Have I mentioned I love my job?

MNS
Posted by: phat

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/15/08 09:16 PM


I take not very much, but I'm also not really trained to cope with anything beyond basic
first aid.

What I have goes in a ziploc, in a nylon bag

8 fabric elastoplasts
4 waterproof band-aids
3 4x4 pads
6 or 8 band aid blister pads
moleskin patch
4 butterfly bandages
3 safety pins
4 naproxen and 2 ibuprophen, 1 centrum vitamin per day hiking
6 Percocet
6 benadryl
polysporin ointment in a teeny container
iodine in a teeny container

The most common thing that gets used is the blister stuff - almost always on someone else on the trail I take pity on.

Now some of my other gear is then dual use for first aid if necessary. Tshirts can make slings and bandages, duct tape and 130lb dacron fishline is wrapped around my trekking poles, and the soles themselves. along with my swiss army knife with tweezers and stuff. (I've done "swiss army surgery" a few times)

I don't carry sew-up stuff, except when hunting and then its a big one used to sew up an abdominal cavity after removing things. I trust in duct tape and butterfly bandages if the
need arises.
Posted by: EricKingston

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/15/08 10:14 PM

I like your list Pika... Do you adjust depending ont the length of trip you take? Such as the Amoxicillin? Starting a 6-day regiment (I'm guessing) for a week long trip might not be of any value. Although, I guess in some cases, you might feel better within a day or two of taking the antibiotics. I've thought about getting some to have on hand, but I don't know if it they would be entirely nessesary on shorter trips. The Vicodin seems like a very good idea, but I wouldn't know how to get any! Oh well, here's my list:
  • These items fit in a heavy duty ziplock bag:
  • Duct Tape (Use for Moleskin, Bandaging, Repairs)
  • 8 - Large Cloth Bandaids
  • Tweezers
  • Sewing Needle and Dental Floss
  • 2 - Safety Pins
  • Small Camp Mirror
  • 1 - Placker Dental Pick
  • Rubbing Alcohol in Eyedrop Bottle (Antiseptic / Sterilizing)
  • Cotton Balls (bandaging or fire starting)
    All pills are kept in one film canister:
  • Allegra-D (allergies)
  • Ibuprofen (pain reliever) - Many
  • Pepto Bismol Pills (upset stomach)

Cheers,
Eric
Posted by: DTape

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/16/08 03:51 AM

The only thing I will add to the discussion that is in my med kit that I didn't see on anyone else's list is a couple of anti-diarrhea pills.

The two most commonly used items for me are: advil and small bandaids
Posted by: Pika

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/16/08 05:58 AM

Eric. Yes, I do take more for longer trips. I go solo almost exclusively so mainly prepare for what I feel I might need. If I am out for more than a 4-5 day trip, I will take a full treatment course of Amoxicillin and will also take more percocet and Imitrex. I probably should take a full treatment course of Amoxicillin anyway.

I have never used the Amoxicillin; it is for the emergency I hope I never need to handle. I will only use Amoxicillin for a grossly contaminated wound that penetrates into underlying tissues; I would be really hesitant to use it for any undiagnosed internal infection.

The percocet is for pain relief of two sorts: The first is if I injure a foot or knee or arm but can still keep going; I will take the percocet to get to civilization a bit more comfortably. The other use is for a case of rotator-cuff tendinitis that I manage but never eliminate. On occasion, it will be painful enough to keep me awake, so I will take a pain medication. In fact, I prefer oxycodon to percocet but the former is much harder to obtain and only a bit more effective.

My GP is willing to write prescriptions for percocet; he knows me well enough to do so. He is a bit hesitant to write one for oxycodon since it is on the DEA watch list. Fortunately, I live close to Mexico and can obtain most name-brand drugs without a prescription. Of course I would NEVER attempt to bring prescription medication into the US without a valid prescription but this is a potential source for the daring. The customs folks are more concerned with booze, cigarettes and knock-off watches than stuff like Amoxicillin. There are also on-line pharmacies that will both write you a prescription and then fill it. I'm not sure that I trust those folks.

Tango. I use the scalpel blades for trimming skin flaps and for going after splinters that are beyond the reach of a needle. So far, I manage them reasonably well w/o a handle but there are light plastic handles available as well. When my arthritis demands, I'll start carrying one. I don't like using a pocket knife blade because they are seldom sharp enough for minor surgery and they need to be sterilized before use. I do have a light magnifier available if I need it. The scalpel blades only add a couple of grams to the kit weight.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/19/08 06:42 PM

The one thing I carry in my FAK that I don't believe has yet been mentioned in this thread is an elastic bandage or two -- awfully good at allowing you to get back to the car after abusing your ankle or knee. Also good at holding a dressing in place, etc. One caveat is that the person to whom the dressing is applied should be conscious and reasonably alert. Tension on these things often must be adjusted to avoid impeding circulation.

Also, paper and pencil. It is a good idea to take notes just in case the situation goes south.
Posted by: altadude

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/20/08 03:35 AM

All very interesting ideas/lists.

Some thoughts:

Amoxicillin while fairly broad spectrum is not what I carry: Keflex (generic cephalexin) has better coverage against Staph Aureus and equal coverage for strep (the two major bugs to worry about with a wound infection). Keflex is also good for a urinary tract infection and resp infection........

Pepto-Bismal, while tasting great, is also an antidiarrheal both in terms of GI mechanics and anti bacterial and it reduces upset stomach-so I carry this.

what is in that first aid manual someone is carrying? In a non-urgent situation it would be fine but when the fit hits the shan doubt it would be very helpful......

Note: Percocet is oxycodone and tylenol: ususally 5mg of Ocycodone and 325 mg of Tylenol.........they are the same med essentially.........

I agree that MNS's idea about "forest for the trees" assesment is crucial and also being comfortable with sick people is helpful-hence EMT/Paramedic experience is nice to have as a backup when in the bc..........so to answer Brum's "what is in your wallet?" Knowledge both to treat and to avoid problems........to be comfortable with medical emergencies: get some training..........

In a very famous book about medical training "House of God" the wizened resident tells the junior intern that in an emergency the first thing you do is "check your own pulse." Idea being that if you are calm things go better-trust me that is definitely the case...........

Alcohol gel
water treatment (first two to avoid GI bugs-most common malady in the wilderness)
Epi pen-allergic reaction is eminently treatable with this device-use it for others not myself
Prednisone-the uber anti-inflammatory: takes care of allergic reactions, and has pain relieving properties.......
4X4 bandages
Benadryl
non-latex medical gloves so I can treat others without placing myself at risk......
some type of opiod-Vicodin or percocet.........
knife

there are probably other things that I carry and I am always aware of what I carry for comfort and for life threatening emergencies...........many things I carry are to make my trip less uncomfortable for me should I "be under the weather." Very little is really necessary for true serious emergencies: like that hiker in Utah who had to cut off his arm to survive-AMAZING courage-not sure I would've been able to do that...........

Also read an account of an australian med student who got lost trekking in Nepal and one of the things that struck me was that he had hope until his pen ran out of ink-he kept writing in a diary and this kept up his spirits up while he waited for help-he holed up in his sleeping bag drinking a cup of melted snow a day and he remained relatively hydrated-it is a truly bizarre tale - but people's hope is crucial in these situations and often writing makes people feel less alone..........so I carry a small Sharpie now..........hope to never use it..........
Posted by: midnightsun03

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/20/08 10:39 AM

I haven't done an inventory of everything in my med kit because it isn't ultralight - it is a rescue kit, not a "just in case" kit.

That said, I've been reading the things others have listed and will add a few things I carry in addition to the standard fare.

Emergen-C packets
1 oz dropper bottle of providone iodine for emergency water treatment and wound cleaning
Webbing sleeping bag straps - the buckle makes it easy to tighten or release tension for swelling
Laminated SOAP notes and mini paper versions too
20ml syringe
Dental repair kit
Maxi-pads for wound care
Sharpie
CPR Mask

On the med end of things I carry the standard OTC meds, but after being diagnosed with my second kidney infection in 4 months (which came up out of nowhere), I think I will start carrying antibiotics on longer trips because an infection can knock you down at lightspeed, before you even know what hit you. The first infection I had it took me about 18 hours between initial onset of symptoms and getting on antibiotics, and I was probably just a breath away from going septic. This time I got on antibiotics within 4-5 hours of noticing symptoms, and the difference is dramatic. In light of this I've been thinking that oral hygiene may be an overlooked health issue in the backcountry. Infections in the gums can come on quickly and lead to some serious health effects, so if your gums are at all inflamed, take care of that before you go far from home.

MNS
Posted by: billk

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 02/23/08 10:16 PM

I just emptied out my kit, and found:

3" compression bandages (2)
3"x3" gauze pads (3)
Extra-large (2") Band-Aids (2)
1" Band-Aids (5)
3/4" Band-Aids (5)
Butterfly Band-Aids (5)
Fingertip Band-Aids (2)
Knuckle Band-Aids (2)
Blister pads (1 Spenco, 2 Band-Aid brand)
3"x4" moleskin (2)
Tweezers ("Uncle Bill's Sliver Grippers")
Folding Scissors ("Slip 'n' Snip")
Small magnifier
Rolaids (1/2 roll)
Small wad of cotton
Triple Antibiotic ointment (1 packet).........past expiration date, needs replacing.
Aspirin (12)
Advil (Ibuprofen), 2-tab packets (2)
Salt tablets (8)
Curad "Wound Wipe" (1)
Sawyer "Sting Aid" wipe (Benzocaine) (1)
Burn Gel packet (Lidocaine) (1)
Benadryl, 2-tab packet (1)

Total weight, with Zip-Loc bag and nylon pouch, 5.9 ounces.

Other items sometimes carried:

3" ACE bandage
Sawyer Extractor
Athletic tape (This is to tape my foot in case of plantar fasciitis flareup. I haven't needed it yet, hope not to.)

In addition, I have both needles and duct tape in a small repair kit, which could have some
first-aid uses.
Posted by: johndavid

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 04/23/08 08:33 PM

Call me foolish, but about all I ever take is Advil type stuff and sometimes a few items for blisters, which never seem to work if needed. If I think of it, I take a few band aids, and Percoset if I have any, but not usually.


I'm all for first aid kits and I think they're a good idea. But on the other hand, minor medical problems can be temporarily ignored, and the rare, serious problems probably need more than the odd pill or ointment.

Though I've done loads of backpacking, almost never more than 2-3 days from nearest trailhead, and usually a matter of a few hours.

I'd re-think this first-aid stuff for expedition-type travel.

Apart from a few cuts and scrapes and minor altitude sickness, the "medical situations" I've encountered have been limited to finding a drowning victim some while after the fact, a back-country skier with a broken back, a companion with a sprained ankle and me with a messed up knee.

I walked out over several days. The rest were evacuations.

I took a 20-hour "wilderness first aid" class 30 years ago, which fortunately hasn't proven useful, and I also did a CPR class about twelve years ago.
Posted by: altadude

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 04/24/08 06:46 PM

Quote:
Call me foolish, but about all I ever take is Advil type stuff and sometimes a few items for blisters, which never seem to work if needed. If I think of it, I take a few band aids, and Percoset if I have any, but not usually.


I'm all for first aid kits and I think they're a good idea. But on the other hand, minor medical problems can be temporarily ignored, and the rare, serious problems probably need more than the odd pill or ointment.

Though I've done loads of backpacking, almost never more than 2-3 days from nearest trailhead, and usually a matter of a few hours.

I'd re-think this first-aid stuff for expedition-type travel.

Apart from a few cuts and scrapes and minor altitude sickness, the "medical situations" I've encountered have been limited to finding a drowning victim some while after the fact, a back-country skier with a broken back, a companion with a sprained ankle and me with a messed up knee.

I walked out over several days. The rest were evacuations.

I took a 20-hour "wilderness first aid" class 30 years ago, which fortunately hasn't proven useful, and I also did a CPR class about twelve years ago.


I basically agree with you........we must differentiate between first aid for comfort and for survival.........

BTW: how do you like my new avatar? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

I am finally getting hip with the internet
Posted by: BarryP

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 04/25/08 08:43 AM

“BTW: how do you like my new avatar?”

Sorry for sidetrack. I may just be seeing things but it looks like TLB stretched you horizontally. Going to your photobucket I see you are using a rectangle picture. TLB requires a square picture so you will have to do some cropping.

Otherwise, excellent pic! I like the small footwear on your back <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

-Barry
Posted by: aimless

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 04/25/08 10:30 AM

My kit is very simple:

20 ibuprofen tablets, 200mg
2 sterile gauze pads, 2x2 inches
5 band-aids, 3/4-inch wide
2 xlarge band-aids, 1-1/4 inch wide
neosporin anti-bacterial ointment, small tube
roll of adhesive tape (cloth-backed, not paper)
needle (stuck in cardboard) for blisters
3 povodine iodine wipes

To these I add some items I personally need:

Claritin tablets (allergy relief)
Benedryl capsules (allergy relief and sleep aid)
Phenylephrine tablets (decongestant)

I would love to have some wide-spectrum antibiotics and a few heavy-hitting painkillers in there, too, but I don't have any easy way to access these.

It appears to me that backcountry medical problems divide into two broad categories:

1) minor aches, blisters, burns, scrapes, bruises, scratches, cuts, or gastro-intestinal distress.
2) major injuries such as broken bones, internal injuries, gashes, concussions and the like.

My kit concentrates on the first category. Dealing with major traumatic injury will have to be a matter of improvisation with the materials at hand. Even if I carried a major medical first aid kit, I know my meager training would render it mostly dead weight anyway.
Posted by: altadude

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 04/25/08 01:37 PM

Quote:
“BTW: how do you like my new avatar?”

Sorry for sidetrack. I may just be seeing things but it looks like TLB stretched you horizontally. Going to your photobucket I see you are using a rectangle picture. TLB requires a square picture so you will have to do some cropping.

Otherwise, excellent pic! I like the small footwear on your back <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

-Barry


Does make my butt look big <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

As you can see, I am still learning.........
Posted by: chaz

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 04/25/08 05:53 PM

I agree with you about the band aid medical kit and will probably re think what I carry. I currently carry a basic small solo first aid kit supplimented with a snake bite kit a mini bic, a firesteel, some cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly and a space blanket.Motrin, Tylenol 4 of each. Over kill for a 2 or 3 nighter? Probably.One of the most important first aid items is very good burbon at the end of the long day.
Posted by: Jim M

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 01/13/13 01:31 AM


midnightsun03: I like your attitude. And as you allude to, attitude is important. What you know, and what you do is often much more important than what you carry in your first aid kit. My experience is that lots of 4 x 4 's for cleaning and covering wounds is what I have used mostly in the woods. I also carry, now, a very clean bandana in my kit (in a zip-lock) in place of a triangle bandage. I encourage my friends to carry a reasonable amount of supplies and at least once we used most of what we had to bandage someone up after a fall. Jim (retired volunteer EMT)
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 01/13/13 02:18 PM

Hi Brumfield - WELCOME BACK - I personally have missed your input and gentle strength. knowledge IS power grin
Jim
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 01/13/13 05:04 PM

Jim, Brumfeld's post was in 2008, so unfortunately he's not back. I miss him, too!

Another case of a several years' old thread being resurrected. Nothing wrong with that except that the dates should be kept in mind.
Posted by: Heather-ak

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 01/14/13 02:21 PM

Odd the post said
"Edited by Jim M (01/13/13 01:35 AM)"
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 01/14/13 02:58 PM

I was replying to Jimshaw, not Jim M, sorry about the confusion!

If you look at the dates of the individual posts on this thread, you'll notice that the last post prior to Jim M's was in April 2008. Nothing wrong with the thread resurrection as far as I can see (i.e. no outdated info that I noticed), but the gap in dates is confusing to many!
Posted by: Blue_Ridge_Ninja

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 01/16/13 10:09 AM

Pretty basic...

5, 1" x 3" Bandaids
2 butterfly closure bandages
1, 2" x 2" sterile gauze pad
5 antiseptic wipes
2 packets of antibiotic ointment
2 pieces of moleskin
1 sting relief wipe
1 small roll of medical tape
1 pair of tweezers

OTC meds: 1, single-dose packet each of Bayer aspirin (for heart attack, not pain), Immodium, antihistimine/decongestant, Pepto Bismol tablets.
3, single-dose packets of Advil.

I've never had to use anything other than the moleskin, Advil and Pepto.
Posted by: Black Mesa

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/11/13 01:51 AM

Not to sound like a gram weenie. A lot of people are packing a First Aid Booklet of some sort. If you take a Red Cross first aid class, or perhaps read said booklet. You will not have to pack it any longer. Just my .02
Posted by: BrianLe

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/11/13 11:12 AM

Quote:
"If you take a Red Cross first aid class, or perhaps read said booklet. You will not have to pack it any longer."



That's what these forums are best at IMO --- sharing differing points of view. My perspective is that I won't reliably remember everything about every possible medical procedure that could arise, that these days city-based first aid classes tend to focus more now on "do no harm and call 911 right away", and that one or more backcountry first aid type of books weigh nothing as eBooks on my smart phone.

In fact, I also carry a sheet or maybe two of paper that I put some efficiently compact and small font first aid type of notes onto, just as a backup.

I'm not a gram weenie. I'll admit to on occasion being an ounce weenie, however! :-)
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/11/13 01:50 PM

Best is a Wilderness First Aid class, usually 16 hours and about $200. Well worth the money, IMHO! Unlike the standard Red Cross course (call 911) you learn how to stabilize the patient while waiting for rescue, which may take several days.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/11/13 02:48 PM

I am not a true ultralight and I usually hike solo so I usually have my Kindle with me for the long nights in the tent. That allows me to take a full blown first aid manual. Many take their iphone or other electronic readers also.
Posted by: aimless

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/11/13 02:51 PM

As a school bus driver I was required to take Red Cross first aid training every two years. BrianLe is correct that the major emphasis of these trainings was recognizing the problem and calling 911 for anything that seemed to be serious. Wilderness first aid was nowhere on the agenda and whatever could be applied from one to the other applied only to very minor problems that most of us learn to cope with, without any Red Cross training.

Take a wilderness first aid course, if you would like to learn what you'd need to know out on the trail.
Posted by: lori

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/11/13 03:21 PM

Take a wilderness first aid class and you will quickly understand that everything in your pack is part of your first aid kit, and the best thing in the kit sits firmly between your ears. Prevention is the lion's share of the work. Understanding what you can treat and continue (not a lot) and what should result in engagement of evacuation procedures (a lot of things) is the crux of the thing....

Basic first aid for your average citizen does not begin to touch things like hypothermia and hyperthermia. All hikers should have a basic understanding of those and do whatever they need to to avoid them.
Posted by: Black Mesa

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/12/13 01:20 PM

BrianLe,


I stand corrected, I did not even think about an app or a file on a smart phone. My old "dumb phone" finally died. So I have had a smart phone for less than a month.

As far as Red Cross first aid classes go, I only used them as an example because they are more readily available than other classes.
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/13/13 05:10 PM

I still carry a small pamphlet on emergency first aid. I'm sure I know most of what they instruct by heart, I've read it many times, but I like having the resource to reference if ever needed.

Posted by: Talthing

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/30/13 03:27 AM

3.2x4" first aid kit (kit stored in 2 ziplock bags)
2 .18oz tube krazy glue
1 book matches
1 sm blister bandage
1 lg blister bandage
2 alcohol prep wipes
1 2.6x3.6" moleskin (unpadded)
6 1" square bandaids
2 large strip bandaids
1 medium strip bandaid
2 2" sterile pads
1 4x2" bandaid
1 large size safety pin
also packed
1 .5 oz tube neosporin
1 2" ace bandage (w/clips)
1 metal mirror
1 credit card magnifier
1 1.5' surgical tubing

total weight 5.7 oz
(I should mention in my ditty bag I carry a small roll of duct tape and my swiss army knife has scissors)...I can also use my 2 sleeping bag straps to make a pretty nice splint and attach my sleeping bag a different way to my pack)

I should probably add some advil tabs...but I haven't yet.


Posted by: Minx

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/03/14 04:11 AM

Comfrey powder: .01 oz in vial. "Knitbone is amazing. Many uses but it's overnight healing ability is worth it's weight in gold.
Creosote (fine crushed): .02 or .03 oz in small zip baggy. Many uses but hard to beat as a anti bacterial topical. Boil for 2 min. Soak infected area. Done. It grows all over where I am but nobody here knows what it can do but the natives.
Sawyer Extracter: Not much use with snake bites but it does have some effect on scorpion stings, another thing we have um here.

and most of the stuff mentioned above by others.




Tread lightly.
Posted by: BZH

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/03/14 12:32 PM

Originally Posted By Minx
...
Creosote (fine crushed): .02 or .03 oz in small zip baggy. Many uses but hard to beat as a anti bacterial topical. Boil for 2 min. Soak infected area. Done. It grows all over where I am but nobody here knows what it can do but the natives. ....


So, you are talking about the shrub that grows outwardly in rings in the desert, correct? What part do you crush finely? The outer bark, the inner bark, leaves....? What are some other uses?
Posted by: Minx

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/03/14 03:13 PM

Yes. Larrea tridentata is known as creosote bush and greasewood as a plant, chaparral as a medicinal herb. Abundant in the Sonoran Desert and thru-out the South West at elevations below 5k feet.
The tops of the plant (leaves, flowers and small stems) are most desirable for making the "tea". I simply grab a handful off the top of branches and anything that is easy to rip off is what I use. It is best if it is flowering but not necessary. I get enough to 1/3 fill whatever pot I'm using and cover with enough water to fully submerge it. Then boil for a few min. It will discolor your pot a bit. Beware. You can cut the side out of a plastic water bottle and put the "tea" in it then soak your foot in that for something like a bad case of athletes foot. Soak for as long as possible while the mix is hot. Not hot enough to burn, of course but hot like tea. 1 or 2 treatments is normally enough.
For a smoke "bath" that will kill body bourne bacteria and act as a natural bug spray you can take a small branch, leaves and all and burn it, wafting the smoke over your body, under armpits, etc.
Burning a little in a campfire will help keep skeeters away.
Sometimes, if skeeters are bad, I'll get some branches smoldering and smoking and place them strategically and SAFELY around my camp. Better than any citronella candles.

Here's a link to a PDF with a fairly comprehensive list of uses.
http://www.herbalsafety.utep.edu/herbs-pdfs/chaparral.pdf

Comfrey and this are 2 herbs that every thru kit should have at least a small amount of. Creosote takes a fair amount to make a good "tea". But in crushed up, almost powder form, (for lightweight) it does work pretty well, even after being dried (better for crushing). The oils can be pretty overbearing to work with but it is all good stuff for ya.

Go play outside.
Raisedbyraccoons.blogspot.com
Posted by: Jim M

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/11/14 01:37 PM

Agreed. I am a retired volunteer EMT and hike with some people who have taken the wilderness first Aid class. It seems very complete and well adapted to the outdoors where help isn't immediately available. I make sure I keep lots of gauze bandages, and 4x4's in my kit because in the past I have mostly treated other people who were scraped up and bleeding.
Posted by: MannyDantyla

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 06/10/15 01:31 PM

I put together a first aid kit for a group of 5 people, hiking through the Yosemite wilderness for four nights and five days. Here's what I packed:

  • large and small band-aids
  • travel-size neosporen
  • ace bandage wrap
  • moleskin
  • blister bandaids
  • foot arch support wraps (I'm a little concerned about my new untested hiking boots)
  • small tin of Sayman Salve herbal skin oitment - supposedly a cure-all for any skin related issues like burns, rashes, bug bites, bee stings, poison ivy, chaffing, boils, blisters, etc
  • anti-chaffing lotion
  • a seven-day pill organizer with the following:
    • ibuprofen
    • acetaminophen
    • herbal sleep aid (Calms Forte, which is mostly chamomile not meletonine)
    • caffeine pills (NoDoz)
    • potassium vitamins
    • magnesium vitamins
    • leg cramp pills (not sure about this stuff)


Do you see any holes in this list?
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 06/10/15 03:29 PM

Moving this thread to Backcountry Health and Safety
Posted by: Gershon

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 06/10/15 04:30 PM

Scissors and tweezers
Posted by: shuddleson

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 06/10/15 10:05 PM

I don't know much about backcountry medicine but doing health and safety for an oil company I learned to always ask the group for their health issues. People are reluctant to volunteer medical information like epilepsy or diabetes for fear you won't let them go along, but if you ask they understand. So if you are responsible (whatever thaT means) or just in a group and nobody else asks and you don't know everybody really well, it might be a good thing to ask.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 06/11/15 10:08 AM

another thing to think about is allergic reactions to stuff, be it bees or plants.

That being said, my most used item is tape. Either silk or sports tape that is breathable. I haven't really used it on myself, but I have on a lot of other people.
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 06/13/15 04:02 PM

Quote:
potassium vitamins
magnesium vitamins


I bring those now, and take them everyday. They prevent leg cramps, and will stop them fast if you get them, and I do. Learning that has been a real blessing.
Posted by: bobito9

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 06/21/15 10:56 PM

I never thought of bringing potassium and magnesium. Is that for an electrolyte, or what?
I like to bring pepto-bismal tablets: good for mild diarreah and stomach upset. Also, I like some renatadine for acid stomach/acid reflux, especially because I always take a lot of naprosyn when I'm hiking: I think the renatadine buffers the stomach some. I also bring some antacid tabs (starting to see a common theme here? smile Plus I like to have few vocodin or tylenol 3, just in case of major pain. What the hell, throw in a couple flexaril, too.
Posted by: Zuuk

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 09/23/15 01:02 PM

My first aid kit started as one given to me when I did a first aid course for work. It's a belt pouch version, 2x3x4" in size. It's now packed full, and from what I can remember that's in there (don't want to unpack it unless I need to):

small, regular & patch band-aids
knuckle band-aids
butterfly band-aids
sutures
3x3 & 3x4 gauze pads
2" and 3" gauze roll
2" elastic wrap
2 small rolls tape
abdominal pad
scissors, tweezers & safety pins
triangle bandage
alcohol swab, iodine & burn packets
benadryl (I have a bee sting allergy, don't need epi though)
advil
pair of gloves

There could be some other stuff in there, the kit itself is packed full. I also carry a survival kit, about the same size container, which also has some first aid things in it.
Posted by: EMT Dave

Re: What's in your Medical Kit? - 12/30/16 09:50 PM

I am an EMT by trade and I carry far more than most people because I can use some rather more sophisticated stuff than others. I also do not hesitate to offer my services to other hikers.
My kit is also constantly in flux and I am aware that I probably carry far too much or at least more than can rationally be justified, but the whole premise of EMS is to be prepared. I have occasionally, when in a rash mood, considered carrying s suture setup. I suppose I could leave the lidocaine and syringes at home, but it would still need betedyne and other skin cleansers. At the end I have decided on duct/duck tape to close a wound, then get myself or the other party out.
Hemorrhage? I have dealt with a pile professionally and in one way or another have controlled them all. I have done it twice on myself, once alone, once with a panicked wife. I got the bleed controlled without panic or irrationality.
This is important. No matter how rattled you may be inside, do not show it if you are helping another. In any case, the old saw, "there are only two kinds of bleed, those life threatening and those not" is accurate. Remember it if it is yourself or another. Center yourself, breathe normally and know that rationality saves lives, yours or anothers.
This is the thing I believe. Know how to control a bleed (yes, you can use a tourniquet if you know how) and how to stabilize a break and you are pretty much good.
If you can find it, take the new "Control the Bleed" program offered in medical squads through Homeland Security. Horrendous wounds can be controlled with a tiny amount of knowledge. Ten minutes of training is enough if done by a skilled teacher. (A man at the Boston bombing had both legs severed mid-femur and survived because an Afgan war vet knew how to use a tourniquet. 8 or 9 people died in the Florida shooting that could have lived had someone knew how to stop the bleed.)
So - control the bleed, stabilize a break, control shock, get help. Carry stuff you need for these purposes and you are good.
PS carry gloves, plenty of gauze, tape, duct or surgical, improvise slings and splints, wound cleanser, allergy tabs, NSAIDs. The rest is good to have to help others, but those are the basics.
PPS blister treatment is good for everyone, I carry a splinter forceps because I know how to use it, a small hemostat and a pair of dedicated nail cutters. Come to think,
with the hemostat my sewing stuff and cleanser I could do a desperation suture if I needed to.